JC / Railbird

Rachel Alexandra Retired

Oh, hell. Yesterday, she worked a bullet four furlongs in :48.45 in possible preparation for the Beldame Stakes. Today, owner Jess Jackson announced reigning HOTY Rachel Alexandra has been retired. From the press release:

“As you know, despite top training and a patient campaign, Rachel Alexandra did not return to her 2009 form. I believe it’s time to retire our Champion and reward her with a less stressful life. We are delighted that she will retire healthy and happy to our beautiful farm in Kentucky.

“Rachel Alexandra owes us nothing. As a 3-year-old, she set standards and records that no filly before her ever achieved. And I suspect it will be quite a while before a three year old filly ever equals or surpasses her achievements. Although her fans were thrilled by a series of spectacular victories, I believe they, as we, were simply awed time and again by her sheer beauty, courage and athleticism,” said Jess Jackson….

“I have been blessed to have been part of history. We are all very fortunate that Rachel carried the banner following Curlin’s amazing success story. The fans adored her, we all did, “ said Steve Asmussen. “She had the most fluid and beautiful stride of any horse I have every seen. It’s been quite a ride.”

Rachel Alexandra exits with a career record of 19-13-5-0 and earnings of more than $3.5 million. If I were an 8-year-old girl, I’d add, and my heart … but I’m too grown-up for that kind of silliness. (How I’ll always remember her.)

5:00 PM Update: A statement from NTRA president Alex Waldrop:

“Rachel Alexandra waged a three-year-old campaign that was nothing short of historic — both for its flawlessness and its ambition. We commend all those who played such a large part in her greatness, most notably co-owners Jess Jackson and Harold McCormick, trainer Steve Asmussen and jockey Calvin Borel. Rachel Alexandra provided countless thrills to fans all around the world, and all of us now undoubtedly look forward to the racing exploits of her offspring.”

Jackson said that Rachel would be bred to 2007-08 Horse of the Year Curlin.

On Flickr: A gallery of Rachel Alexandra photos.

From Equineline: Lifetime past performances.

6:00 PM Update: The Fair Grounds has renamed a stakes race for Rachel Alexandra. “She is one of the all-time legends not only of Fair Grounds but of our sport,” said Fair Grounds VP Eric Halstrom, explaining the decision to change the name of the Silverbulletday Stakes, a prep for the Fair Grounds Oaks, to the Rachel Alexandra Stakes.

On Youtube: A video playlist including the Personal Ensign, Woodward, Haskell, Preakness, Kentucky Oaks, and her maiden win (or watch below).

From the archives: Rachel Alexandra in Vogue.

An appreciation: Rachel fans, unconditionally (Ernie Munick).

More reactions: ‘R’ is for Rachel, and retirement (That’s Amore) … On the occasion of Rachel Alexandra’s retirement (Superfecta) … What I think about Rachel’s retirement (Jason Shandler).


Thank you Mr. Jackson & Calvin Borel! You shared Rachel with the horseracing community, allowing us to marvel in her wonders and talent. At my youthful age of 62, I’ve been an avid horseracing fan and I’ve been privilege to see the very best of the best in horseracing! Rachel is the best of the best and she will remain in my book of memories as the history making wonderous athlete that brightened lives and excited all who witnessed her amazing racing career!

Posted by Linda on September 28, 2010 @ 5:01 pm

Why retire her? Why not race her at the Breeders’ Cup?

Posted by Robin on September 28, 2010 @ 5:53 pm

We’ll probably never know. Like Steve Haskin, I wish there had been more of an explanation. The timing just seems so bizarre.

Thanks for your comment, Linda. You remind us of what’s important.

Posted by Jessica on September 29, 2010 @ 3:37 pm